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Virgin Australia: Back to international flying – Fiji

Virgin Australia: Back to international flying – Fiji

With reports overnight of a significant earthquake, fortunately not resulting in damage, I thought I better remind you-all that Virgin Australia has recommenced servicing Fiji, which re-launches the airline into international flying.

a map of the world with red circles

The Sydney-Nadi Route was re-established last week, 16 December 2021.

Virgin will take you to Fiji from either Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney with the following frequencies:

Route (return)StartFrequency
Sydney – Nadi16 Dec. ’21Daily return services from 16 December 2021, increasing to double daily return services from 23 December 2021.
Melbourne – Nadi17 Dec. ’214 return services per week from 17 December 2021, increasing to daily return services from 23 December 2021.
Brisbane – Nadi18 Dec. ’21Up to 3 return services per week.

You will be travelling on one of the airlines Boeing 737-800, with the earliest direct flights departing Sydney at 10:30am. Brisbane and Melbourne flights are mostly indirect. Looking at the schedule of direct flights, it looks like Melbourne and Brisbane are appearing briefly over the holiday season, and then recommencing in March/April, making them effectively seasonal.

Economy Seats on Virgin out of Sydney are around AU$600 to AU$800 in December, and AU$1,500 for business. From Melbourne about AU$650 economy and AU$1,700 in Business. Out of Brisbane, expect to pay AU$600 to AU$800, and for business AU$1,650.

an airplane at an airport

Other Airlines

Fiji Airways and Qantas with a codeshare/OneWorld alliance partnership also service routes to Fiji. You will probably be travelling on a Fiji Airways B737 MAX plane (if you are game). Fiji Airways service is delightful, from the Bulla! welcome to their rum and coconut-based signature cocktail (if they still have it).

Vaccination, testing and isolation

For the vaccinated traveller, Fiji is a little over 4 hours from Sydney, has a population that is highly vaccinated, and where currently you must be tested prior to your flight with a negative result and be tested on arrival and effectively isolate in your resort for 3 days. Of course, there are nuances to this advice but you can find full details here.

a group of people wearing face masks

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

Given the vaccination rates in most of Asia plus the testing and isolation routines required, consider Fiji as an alternative for a relaxing holiday destination. With an economy dependent on tourism, the Fiji government has made it as easy as possible for you to travel safely to the island nation.

If you are holiday and international travel deprived, then I would consider Fiji. I’m booked for February, and can’t wait. All travel is a risk at the moment while we are ‘living with COVID’, but I think Fiji is worth it.

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